Ashish Dhawan

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Ashish Dhawan
Ashish Dhawan

(1969-03-10) March 10, 1969 (age 52)
New Delhi, India
Alma materHarvard Business School
Yale University
OccupationFounder & CEO, Foundation for Improving the Quality of Life (A-PAG)
Founder & CEO, Central Square Foundation
Founder & Governing Body Member, Ashoka University
Senior Managing Director, ChrysCapital
Board member ofChairman, ChrysCapital
Akanksha Foundation
Teach for India
Centre for Civil Society
3.2.1 Education Foundation
India School Leadership Institute
Bharti Foundation
(m. 1998)
Parent(s)Renu Dhawan Anand Dhawan

Ashish Dhawan (born March 10, 1969) is an Indian private equity investor and philanthropist who co-founded and ran one of India's leading private equity funds, Chrysalis Capital (ChrysCapital).[1] He has served on the company's board since 1999, but left his full-time position at ChrysCapital in 2012 after twenty years in the investment management business to found Central Square Foundation (CSF), a grant-making organization and policy think tank focused on transforming the quality of school education in India. In 2014, he spearheaded the launch of India's first liberal arts university, Ashoka University, a philanthropic effort of over forty leaders in education and industry.

In 2012, Dhawan was recognized as the NextGen Leader in Philanthropy by Forbes India for his charitable work.[2] He also placed 15th on the 2014 Hurun India Philanthropy List, a ranking of the most generous individuals in India produced by China-based Hurun Research Institute.[3] His net worth is approximated at $500 million.


After passing out with top marks from St Xavier's Collegiate School and the prestigious St. James' School, Kolkata, Dhawan went on to graduate magna cum laude from Yale University with a dual bachelor's degree. In 1997, he completed an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS), graduating with distinction. He currently serves on the advisory board of HBS Club of India and is a member of Yale's Development Council.


Dhawan started his career in 1992 as the only Indian analyst working for Mergers Group at Wasserstein Perella & Co., a boutique investment bank on Wall Street. From 1993-1995, Dhawan worked as a junior associate at McCown DeLeeuw & Co., a small private equity firm in California, where he met George McCown, who encouraged him to study leadership at Harvard Business School.

Through the mid-nineties, Dhawan invested proprietary capital in the Risk Arbitrage Group at New York's blue chip investment bank Goldman Sachs. Returning to India in 1999, he co-founded ChrysCapital in Mumbai with Harvard classmate Raj Kondur. Despite some initial challenges and market pressures, ChrysCapital endured and emerged as one of the strongest players.


In 2010, Dhawan co-founded the Young India Fellowship, a one-year residential multidisciplinary postgraduate programme with a focus on experiential learning and an aim to develop the next generation of India's leaders.

In June 2012, Dhawan transitioned from venture capitalist to educator, founding Central Square Foundation, a philanthropic fund and policy think tank focused on transforming the quality of school education in India by making early and growth stage grants to education-focused NGOs and by conducting research on critical issues facing India's education system.

With the support of more than forty philanthropists in 2014, Dhawan launched Ashoka University—India's first liberal arts university—located outside New Delhi.

Ashish also serves on the board of several non-profits including Blue Sky Analytics, Akanksha Foundation, 3.2.1 Education Foundation, Teach For India, Centre for Civil Society, Janaagraha, India School Leadership Institute and Bharti Foundation.

Personal life[edit]

Dhawan lives in New Delhi with his wife, Manisha Dhawan an M Phil in Philosophy from Delhi University and three children, Ayla, Anya and Armaan.


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  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-16. Retrieved 2015-05-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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